We’ve chosen to focus our relaunch around the theme: EVOLVE. Transformation is core to who we are, and we put it out to The Inertia’s influencers and most talented contributors to share moments that caused significant personal growth and transformation – ideally with some relation to surfing, but also to life in general. This is Greg Long’s moment.
On December 10, 2009, I paddled off the beach at Waimea Bay to surf the final one-hour heat of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. I was sitting in next-to-last place on the ratings after my first heat, and needed to ride four outstanding waves in order to overtake Kelly Slater, who was in first place. Technically, it wasn’t impossible, but the odds were certainly not in my favor. As the horn blew signifying the start of my heat, the biggest sets of the day began relentlessly storming the bay. With intense focus and determination, I honed in and successfully rode the biggest and best four waves I could find, exiting the water with 15 minutes still remaining. Touching down on the sand, I was swarmed by friends who ecstatically informed me the cumulative score total of my four waves had just eclipsed those posted by Kelly Slater. In an unprecedented comeback, riding four waves in 45 minutes I fulfilled a lifelong goal… I had just won the Eddie.